Posted in Painting,RumblingsJanuary 16, 2010
For my trip to Spain and France, I made two sketchbooks from scratch. All it took was some $4 large format sheets of 140lb watercolor paper I picked up at Utrecht, a 4-ply sheet of black museum board for the front and back covers, and my old office’s binding machine with some bronze-colored coils. I cut the sheets to 24 pages at 7″x9.75″ and the museum board covers to 7″x10″ so that the pages have some extra protection on the ends. The result was a lightweight, durable, cheap, and pretty handsome sketchbook. The advantage, besides being half the price, is that I could choose the size, number of pages, and kind of paper that I made it out of. Plus you get the satisfaction of making it yourself.
Posted in PaintingJanuary 16, 2010
Here are some watercolors from a trip I took this summer to Spain and France. Most were quick 10-15 minute sketches done on site.
Posted in 3BMC,Projects,RumblingsJanuary 15, 2010
So, now that you have a wash and it has stopped bubbling, it is ready to distill. First you need to rack it, which just involves siphoning most of it out to leaving behind the yeast sediment on the bottom. Then take it and put it in your still.
A basic potstill is made up of a few parts. The pot is what sits over the heat source and where you put the wash. In the wash, ethanol (alcohol) is evaporated before water because ethanol boils at 173°F vs. 212°F for water. The now gaseous alcohol travels through the lyne arm, which is a narrow metal tube that comes out of the top of the pot and goes to the condensor coil. The condensor coil is coiled metal tubing that sits in ice or cold water, where the gas is re-condensed back into a liquid. The liquid then comes out the end as distilled alcohol.
Posted in PaintingJanuary 13, 2010
It seems that every aspiring painter has a guru. Mine is Jason Heinze, a former co-worker at Machado Silvetti and friend of mine. However, since he is already taken, I figured the least I could do is pass on his own personal guru: Handprint.com. Although it is a bit hard to navigate at times, Handprint is mindblowingly extensive.
I also wanted to mention some of the brushes and paints I find to best. In terms of paint brushes, I have tried many different types and styles, but I always end up going back to the two brushes Jason gave me for my birthday last year: a #8 Synthetic and #6 Kolinsky Sable pocket brush. They are brilliant. Their tips are flawless and the brush has amazing capacity. It feels great to paint with because of the weight distribution being towards the brush. Plus because they are reversible, they are amazing for traveling and painting on the go.
Posted in 3BMC,Projects,RumblingsJanuary 10, 2010
The actual process of distilling takes some time to master, but thankfully allows or a fair amount of room to make mistakes. Conceptually, distilling is the process of purifying or concentrating (due to different boiling points) a liquid by evaporation and condensation. Making moonshine is really not too much more than that, you just ferment alcohol and then distill it through a still. There are a million different ways to make moonshine, and the following method is just one way. Part of the enjoyment of moonshining is that you can adapt the process to reflect the way you want to do it and the kind of alcohol you end up with, so I definitely recommend experimenting.
Posted in ArchitectureJanuary 6, 2010
If you are a regular follower of architecture blogs, you have probably already seen this. But if not, and you want to add a bit of mainstream architecture/design to your daily life, Archi-Ninja has made an amazing comic review of the top 9 architecture blogs. It is a good top list. Check it out.
Posted in Projects,RumblingsJanuary 3, 2010
Jenga: good for any new years eve celebrations.
Posted in 3BMC,Projects,RumblingsJanuary 3, 2010
Moonshining. An art that nears extinction, killed by its own obscurity, its inherent difficulty, and the US government. These are the conclusions that a few friends and I came to a few summers ago when we took our first try at distilling some alcohol. The first few tries, to put it mildly, were a total disaster. But with some help and some discoveries in the back of my barn, we managed to make some progress.
It began with Foxfire. In the first Foxfire book, there is a section on moonshining that is inspiring, but barely helpful for the aspiring moonshiner. But it provides photos and stories of small and large scale stills out in the back woods of the Appalachian that are hard to forget.
Posted in Projects,RumblingsJanuary 2, 2010
I went all out during my first attempt at making soap. I only used techniques that were used by homesteaders in the past. I used potash to leech and collect the lye. I used natural leaf lard from one of my dad’s pigs for the fat. I even boiled down the lye to a solid to make for more accurate measurements. But, as you can see from the pictures from Part 1 and Part 2, it did not end well.
Posted in RumblingsDecember 31, 2009
“The Secret of Secrets” by Sant Darshan Singh is a spectacular book recommended to me by my roommate, Raji. It is a bit tricky to find, but you can find it with a bit of digging on amazon or barnes and noble. I wouldn’t normally post about books, but since this one is both obscure and amazing, I thought I should put it out there.
It is a great book for people who have a basic understanding of eastern spirituality and religions, but who want to get a bit deeper into it. The book takes a slightly unorthodox structure; instead of drawing out topics through flowing chapters, Darshan Singh instead focuses on a particular issue for each chapter. I find that this style makes for a more logical and easier read.